Anyone can get an abscessed tooth, which is a pocket of pus that forms around the root of an infected tooth. Some people mistakenly believe that an abscessed tooth will heal on its own, but if you leave an abscessed tooth untouched, it will only worsen. You need to see a dental professional for treatment. Treating your abscessed tooth could save it and prevent the spread of infection to other parts of your body.
Your teeth are hard on the outside, but inside, they contain nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. Teeth could become infected, usually from tooth decay, a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or gum disease. When the infection is left untreated, it could kill the pulp of your tooth, resulting in an abscess.
Types of abscessed teeth
An abscessed tooth may be classified as one of the following:
- Periapical abscess – The abscess forms at the tip of the tooth’s root.
- Periodontal abscess – The abscess affects the bone next to your tooth.
- Gingival abscess – The abscess is located in the area of the gum close to the neck of the tooth.
Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include swelling, pain, gum redness, pain when you chew, pain in the jaw, fever, swollen lymph nodes, or trouble breathing or swallowing.
When you notice a pimple-like bump on your gum, it could be a sign of an abscessed tooth. You can confirm it by pressing the bump. If liquid oozes out, you can be sure that you have an abscessed tooth.
When you don’t manifest any of the normal symptoms of an abscessed tooth, it could mean that the pus is draining somewhere. Your dentist can diagnose an abscessed tooth through routine exams and X-rays, even when there are no symptoms.
The first line of defense against an abscessed tooth is the use of antibiotics to fight the infection. A root canal is another way of treating an abscessed tooth. Your dental professional will drill into your tooth and clean out the pulp inside. He or she will then fill up and seal the empty space. A crown will be installed later. Surgeries may be needed to drain periodontal abscesses. If your dentist or endodontist cannot save your tooth, the only option is extraction.